Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde: A True Story by Rebecca Dana Review (Possible Spoilers)

Title: Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde: A True Story
Author: Rebecca Dana
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Nonfiction
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: I liked this book about personal faith and enlightenment, and though I laughed and lerned a lot, I still feel like there was something missing in the book.
I received this book from Goodreads as an advance readers copy and finished it last night. I'm still kind of ambivalent about it. Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde: A True Story tells the story of two intertwined lives: that of the author, Rebecca, who has lost her faith in the one thing she believes in, New York and all its promises, and Cosmo, a thirty year old rabbi who has lost his religion, and his sense of self. The book begins with the author explaining her hope to leave Pennsylvania and start a new life in New York City, becoming a sophisticated young woman who has everything she's ever wanted. However, when her whole life starts to fall apart, she moves in with Cosmo, and slowly the two begin to become friends, Rebecca eventually starting to delve into her Jewish heritage, even as the hilarious, mysterious Cosmo begins to move away from it.

What I liked:
-Cosmo, and his craziness (I can't imagine living with him!)
-Rebecca at spots, and how she goes on a search for the meaning of life, even looking deeper into her Jewish identity to do so
-The way I learned about Jewish culture from them both
-Rebecca's motley assortment of friends throughout her journey
-Cosmo saying that being Jewish isn't all that defines him anymore
-Rebecca's descriptions of all the places she went
-The ending and how Rebecca felt satisfied with doing something good and something meaningful, even if that isn't all she does

What I didn't like:
-The way Rebecca seemed to be in despair throughout half the book and it seemed to me she didn't do a thing about it
-The description of violence in Brooklyn
-Rebecca's irrational thought that she was going to be raped or assaulted on the way home from work

Overall, I enjoyed the book--it was a funny, enlightening journey into finding faith and being loved

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